11 Solutions for Ashy Elbows

Written by Allison

Say goodbye to your ashy elbows.

My fiancé, (the one with the beard blowout) has dry and dehydrated skin. It’s one thing trying to coax him into using hydrating skincare, and another to deal with his ashy elbows. In an effort to make his dry elbows just a bit softer I’ve compiled 11 of the best ways to treat ashy elbows.

Without doing a super zoom (which trust me, you don’t want to see) it’s hard to tell just how dry his elbows are, but at the end of this post you can see the difference some of these tips have made.

1. Moisturize regularly

The easiest solution to easing dry skin? Hydrate it. Use a moisturizer every day to help soften rough skin. I’m a fan of body butters because they’re thick and smell great, but even a giant tub of Lubriderm can do the trick.

2. In-shower moisturize

Not going to hydrate outside the shower? Do it inside the shower. In shower body moisturizers are a dream come true. You apply right before you’re done in the shower. Smooth it all over your bod as you would any other lotion and rinse off the excess. Pat yourself dry with your towel (instead of rubbing) to keep the moisturizer on your skin. This Nivea version has a more unisex scent than the Olay.

3. Hydrate with oil

For those with sensitive skin, moisturizers with lots of fragrance may not be the best choice. Instead you can hydrate with plant oils (my faves are grapeseed oil and olive oil) to keep your skin supply and your elbows hydrated.

4. Fish oil capsules

Hydrating from the outside is one thing, but hydrating from the inside out can do wonders! Taking fish oil tablets can help to get your whole body hydrated. Just prepare for a bit of a wait to see it’s effect on your skin. These are a great, price-friendly option.

5. Check for chafing

If you wear rough garments or regularly lean your elbows on tables you may be chafing your elbows. It’s not so much ashy elbows as it is lightly abraded elbows. If you can switch to softer shirts and avoid elbow leaning.

6. Protect from weather

Freezing cold temps are rough on your skin (even those elbows). If you’re a roll up your sleeves kind of person, you may need to keep your arms covered this winter. Plus you’ll stay warmer so it’s really a win-win.

7. Change your laundry detergent

People with sensitive skin may have skin irritation from their laundry detergent. The elbows of your tops can tend to do a lot of rubbing on your skin as you move your arms. Avoid the sensitivity with a laundry detergent that is dye free and fragrance free. We love Seventh Generation Free & Clear.

8. Opt for soothing soaps

Dehydrating soaps can also make a big difference in your skin. Drying old school bar soaps may work well for some people but if you’re particularly dry you may want a hydrating, sensitive skin body wash. The Dove Sensitive Skin body wash may be just the ticket/

9. Sugar scrub

To soften up your elbows (so long as sensitive skin isn’t an issue) a scrub is your best bet. You can easily DIY a sugar scrub to help buff off some of that dead skin. Mix together a quarter cup plain old sugar with a tablespoon of oil at a time until you get a thick consistency. Rub into those ashy elbows and rinse off to reveal your softer elbows.

10. Acidic scrub

An acidic scrub will do the same thing as that sugar scrub but with a little more oomph. I love the Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub for a seriously exfoliating treatment. This uses glycolic acid to help keep up cell turnover and to soften up your skin.

11. Cloth scrub

And if all else fails you can scrub up with a wash cloth. This is perfect for those with sensitivities to fragrance or oils. Just make sure you aren’t too rough with the cloth so you don’t get rug burn on your elbows. Scrub up every other day to keep your elbows soft and non-ashy.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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